Glitches, phone calls, waiting for PIN numbers – filing for unemployment can involve a lot of work

10 On Your Side

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – “You are 1,530th in the queue.”

That’s what Marcia Price says she heard Monday morning, when she tried to check on her unemployment claim.

Price manages a salon on the Peninsula, and like other salons it was ordered last week by Governor Ralph Northam to close for at least 30 days because of COVID-19.

Price applied for unemployment online Sunday, but the system glitched and she had to re-enter her info. Then she says it glitched a second time, and she’s pretty sure it took her info on the third attempt.

She had to check by phone the next morning, and that’s when she discovered more than 1,500 people had called before she did – to a number that had opened just 15 minutes earlier.

Price opted for a call back and actually got one Monday evening. The woman asked for her PIN number, but Price says you don’t get a PIN number until 10 days after the application.

Price had collected unemployment before, about 15 years ago. “(The system) still had my old information in there, as far as my old address, and my old bank account. I had to call two different numbers to update each one.”

In the meantime Price is checking websites for openings, but says a lot of the postings are out-of-date, and the tension is already rising.

“I’m staying in the house, not wasting gas if I don’t need to go anywhere. I’ve kind of rationed my food,” said Price.

10 On Your Side contacted the Virginia Employment Commission to get their response about Price’s concerns and will update this story when we receive it.

If you are finding yourself suddenly jobless, like Price, 10 On Your Side put together this resource with important specifics on how to apply for unemployment.


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